With three weeks to go until the 2022 midterm elections, things are so bad for Democrats that they’re already getting their stories together on who and what to blame for what many pollsters are predicting will be a bloodbath for the party.
Former President Barack Obama, who hit the campaign trail in a desperate attempt to stem the losses, was brutal in his assessment of what’s dragging Democrats down, saying they’re a “buzzkill.”
“When we’re talking about putting together … durable majorities, we have to be able to speak to everybody about their common interests,” Obama said in an interview with “Pod Save America.”
“Where we get into trouble sometimes is when we try to suggest that some groups are more — because they historically have been victimized more, that somehow they have a status that’s different than other people,” he said. “And that we’re going around scolding folks if they don’t use exactly the right phrase, or that identity politics becomes the principal lens through which we view our various political challenges.”
James Carville, the chief strategist for Bill Clinton, was famed for framing the 1992 presidential race with just four words: “It’s the economy, stupid.” He, too, says Democrats are far too focused on abortion while Americans care most about inflation, gas and food prices, rampant crime, and the porous southern border.
“A lot of these consultants think if all we do is run abortion spots that will win for us. I don’t think so,” he said. “It’s a good issue. But if you just sit there and they’re pummeling you on crime and pummeling you on the cost of living, you’ve got to be more aggressive than just yelling ‘abortion’ every other word.”
Carville is spot on. Democrats thought they had been gifted a winning issue when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that deemed abortion a constitutionally protected right across America.
And Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) says Democrats are spending too much time moaning about abortion rights and far too little on one of his key issues, economic inequality.
“I don’t believe it can be the only issue,” Sanders told “CNN Tonight with Jake Tapper” in a recent interview.
“At a time when we have an economy in which the wealthiest people, the billionaire class, are getting much, much richer while working people are struggling to put food on the table, it goes without saying that we have to focus on the economy,” he said.
Mike Lux, a Democratic strategist and Clinton White House adviser, told The Hill he agrees with Obama.
“I think the language police stuff gets a little silly, but I would also say that in the focus groups that I have done and the polling that I have been working on … voters are not mostly focused on that stuff. That’s what Twitter is focused on,” he said. “My sense of what voters are focused on is economic issues, abortion, stuff that really matters to them and their lives.”
Well, wrong on abortion, but right on the other issues.
Americans are keyed in inflation, which has forced more than half of working Americans to consider getting a second job to make ends meet.
“About 38% of workers have looked for a second job, while an additional 14% have plans to do so, according to a survey of more than 1,000 full-time US employees by Qualtrics International Inc., which makes software used by over 16,000 organizations,” Bloomberg News reported. “At the same time, 18% of working adults said they had moved to an area with a lower cost of living to cut expenses, and another 13% plan to do so.”
Why? “About 70% say their pay isn’t keeping up with rising expenses. A recent Brookings Institution study estimated that the current spike in prices means it will now cost more than $300,000 to raise a child to age 17, up $26,000 since inflation took hold,” Bloomberg reported.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.